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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2級 Grammar 51-55

Today's grammar sentences are brought to you by an event of BIBLICAL proportions: the 大掃除 of Brett's apartment, and man was THAT overdue. Check the examples to get an idea of the kinds of shenanigans that this involved.

51) ~ざるをえない
~ have to

This is the same as しなければならない, with the nuance that the action that must be performed is something that you don't want to do. It's good to think of this one as "しないわけにはいかない: not doing it is not an option." 

~ざるをえない replaces the ない in the negative plain form of verbs.

Ex. Macaroniの箱四個を捨てたくなかったけど、賞味期限が1998年に切れていたので、捨てざるをえなかった。

52) ~しかない
- is the only thing (to do)

しか was a revelation for me when I first learned it, cause it's so easy and so useful. Just put しか in front of a negative verb, and you've turned it into a positive sentence with the added meaning of "only."

How many people came to your party? 二人しか来なかった。Only two.
Can you speak English? 日本語しか喋れない。

This 2級 grammar point adds the fun of VERB + しかない, meaning VERB is the only thing to do (That's true by the way. It is.)

Ex. 3-4年間かかっても、掃除するしかない。引越しすることが出来ないし。

53) ~次第
~ after
~once X is done

Used commonly to ask someone to do something, after something else, and used most with verbs of conclusion. After something is finished (concluded, decided, etc), please do etc.

Check the comments below for an important point on using 次第. And some weird discussion.

Ex. やー、ブレット!掃除が終わり次第、あなたの孫によろしく、ね。

54) ~次第で(は)・~次第だ
~ depending on

I've been waiting for so, SO long to learn how to say "depending on" in Japanese. Don't know why I didn't just ask somebody. で is attached when you use it to say "Depending on X..." and continue the sentence from there. だ is attached when you end the sentence with "... depends on X."

Ex. 掃除が終わる時の体調次第で、パーティをするかもしれないし、休むかもしれないし、死ぬかもしれません。

55) ~上・上は
~ in relation to
~ concerned with
~ regarding

This one is a bit tricky. It's used to pinpoint the essence or the target of something, in an explanatory fashion. Like:
"They've had a lot of problems related to money: あの二人の間には、金銭上のトラブルがあったようだ。"
"He quit for reasons related to health:健康上の理由で止めた."

Ex. 彼女がいること上、アパートを掃除したくなったのかな?

And with that, I've taken care of my both my weekly grammar and my weekly give-Brett-a-hard-time quotas! Wooooot.

Post script:
Google Images let me down. I couldn't find any pictures of the fridge from Minority Report.

Also, here's a sample of real dialogue from the 掃除 session:

"I just cut myself on something in this cabinet."
"Is it bad?"
"No... but this place is like the inside of a Komodo Dragon's mouth. Even if the wound isn't deep, the ancient bacteria are gonna kill me."


darryl said...

man jeff you're a beast on this thing! just want to compliment you guys on this blog (finally).

i'll help out by adding some examples from my 2級 text that i've covered already.

for ~次第, i'd like to add that the idea of doing something right after something else is also stressed. the meaning listed in my text is ~したら、すぐに <~が終わったらすぐ後のことをすることを表す>, so in my mind, i think of it as "as soon as X, (i will do)/(please do) Y" in a planned sequence of 2 actions.

1. 新しい住所が決まり次第、連絡します。
I will contact you as soon as my new address is decided.

2. 向こうに着き次第、電話してください。
Please call me as soon as you arrive there.

and this is darryl if you can't tell by my user name.

Claytonian said...

You may want to start adding info about which grammars are formal, which are written etc.

You have a grandchild? Or did you mean "私の孫"?

I have started to clean your house a bit at times, because it gets to one, the uncleanening. But then I get defeated by the overwhelmening.

I'm off to explore this 乃至 word that I think you are using.

Claytonian said...

Oh sorry, I didn't realize Jeff wrote this about Bretts house. Do you guys trade off on grammar posts? Anyways...

AzzidisRidden said...

Yeah, we trade off on pretty much everything. My example sentence using  次第 was meant to read as: "Hey, Brett, when you get done cleaning, give my regards to your grandkids," in a teasing sort of vain.

What is this 乃至 of which you speak?

Claytonian said...

ah, I get the joke now. Maybe a 時代 before the 次第. In any case, the future may be too far/vague to be within the range of this grammar and not usable this way, so instead of 時代 there, maybe あなたのその時代で生まれて来た孫 later in the sentence would.

I was trying to figure out the ないしs in 掃除が終わる時の体調次第で、パーティをするかもしれないし、休むかもしれないし、死ぬかもしれません, but they weren't working as ないs followed by しs for me at the time (a forest from the trees problem). I see what you were doing now, and 乃至 could not have been in there; would have robbed the かもしれs.

AzzidisRidden said...

If you take it in context (which you kind of have to do with Japanese), and you know that A: Brett has no kids, let alone grandkids, and B: Brett will finish cleaning his apartment at some point in the future...

Do you think that the Japanese is enough, そのまま, to extrapolate the meaning/humor?

Claytonian said...

Maybe. I didn't get it, but that could have been another forest from the trees thing. Brett has grandkids? What?

Defendership said...

Finally got around to reading this - it's been an exhausting last couple of days... keeping this place clean is as hard as cleaning it. Somehow, fruit flies infested my trash that has only been hanging around for a day or two. The hell?